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I'd say so. But it's a very subjective idea. I tend towards the wider definition and would include Michael Tippett for example, and Peter Maxwell Davies (no complete recordings of his symphonies and is rarely programmed at concerts).
Tippett may still get programmed - Edward Gardner has been doing so, for example - and could enjoy a resurgence of interest soon. I agree that PMD has been very poorly served by the recording industry. I'm not sure why as from reading these pages he seems to have a lot of supporters.

Neglected is a difficult concept. Much of, say, Berlioz or Dvorak are also rarely programmed but are known as among the greats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #122 ·
Tippett may still get programmed - Edward Gardner has been doing so, for example - and could enjoy a resurgence of interest soon. I agree that PMD has been very poorly served by the recording industry. I'm not sure why as from reading these pages he seems to have a lot of supporters.

Neglected is a difficult concept. Much of, say, Berlioz or Dvorak are also rarely programmed but are known as among the greats.
I wouldn't say it's a difficult concept, not if you avoid being overly forensic and treat it as a conversation enabler, rather an attempt at discovering universal truths ;)

P.S. In the last 4 months I've been to concerts in London which programmed Dvorak works, including the LPO doing his marvellous 7th symphony
 

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Discussion Starter · #124 · (Edited)
Anthony Payne (1936-2021)

Time's Arrow (1990)

BBC Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Davis - performance duration: circa 28 minutes
Label: NMC


It was a sad loss last year when Anthony Payne passed away last year. Not nearly enough of Payne's music is available (although there's a fair bit) and this tone poem/symphony in one movement/semi-concerto for orchestra (?) is arguably the best of the lot, IMO.

An utterly engaging 27 minutes or so,of tightly argued modernist orchestral music with romantic overtones, expertly played by the BBC Symphony, directed by Andrew Davis.

I would urge people to at least listen to this captivating piece, and direct you towards Presto Music who currently have the 16 bits CD quality download for sale at a steal for just two English pounds and sixty five pennies (£2.65) - Payne: Time's Arrow



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Discussion Starter · #125 · (Edited)
Robin Holloway (born 1943)

Second Concerto For Orchestra Op. 40 (1978)

BBC Symphony Orchestra, Oliver Knussen.
Performance Duration - 33 minutes 45 seconds
Label: NMC

This is perhaps Holloway's most vigorous and extraordinary orchestral set-pieces of all five of his concertos for orchestra. A big orchestra, with a large percussion section that, along with the triple winds and brass, has a lot to do!

Oliver Knussen keenly directs the BBC Symphony who relish the challenging score and are clearly having a whale of a time!

I have attended so many BBC SO concerts down the years and will say that when conducted by a Boulez or a Knussen, in challenging modern contemporary music, they are second to none.

The NMC team have produced a recording that completely captures this huge orchestral canvass in demonstration bracket sound quality. This is a disc that has been in my collection since it was first released and I'm always consumed with anticipation each and every time I take it from the shelf.



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I wouldn't say it's a difficult concept, not if you avoid being overly forensic and treat it as a conversation enabler, rather an attempt at discovering universal truths ;)
("It" = "neglected") ... very well put! We have "neglected composers," and "unheralded composers," and there are quite a few other terms around. I too use "neglected" in the broad sense, not for truly obscure composers. But really the point is to be understood whatever word you use. And as you imply conversation in that spirit is more to be valued than aggressive hairsplitting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #127 ·
Hugh Wood (1932-2021)

Scenes From Comus Op. 6 (1962-5)
BBC Symphony Orchestra; Geraldine McGreevy, soprano; Daniel Norman, tenor; Andrew Davis, conductor.
Performance duration: 28 minutes, 6 seconds.
Label: NMC

Last year saw the passing of the British composer, Hugh Wood. An extremely erudite man whose compositions are expertly crafted and, to my ears, always straddle the modernist and the traditional classical.

His breakthrough piece, and first work for full orchestra (and voices), was 'Scenes From Comus' a Proms commission, premiered in 1965. It's a tone poem for orchestra, soprano and tenor, based on John Milton's 'Comus (a masque etc)'.

This excellent CD also includes his largest piece, 'Symphony' 1982 Op. 21, which lasts over 41 minutes. A much cherished CD.

Hugh Wood qualifies utterly as a neglected, underrated and ignored composer of indisputably outstanding classical music. RIP, maestro.




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Discussion Starter · #129 ·
Just listened to the symphony and it's undoubtedly an eclectic work of considerable imagination. Thanks for drawing my attention to it!
Yes, it's a considerable work all-round!

Wood did not compose a huge number of works, partly because he took time and effort in crafting every opus as a perfectly-shaped masterpiece. Symphony Op.21 is a very good example.

Any deliberate stylistic references (I wouldn't go quite as far as eclectic) such as Die Zauberföte, are finessed so carefully into a modernist soundscape (the booklet describes it as "the playing out of some intense but unconfessed psychodrama") that one (I, for one) barely notices........

I've just listened to it all through again and I'm astonished at how good this music is - I don't understand why it is not so well known amongst classical music fans.
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